Saturday, February 7, 2009

Black Moon Rising (1986)

Director: Harley Cokeliss

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn, Richard Jaeckel, William Sanderson, Keenan Wynn, Nick Cassavetes

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: From the mind of John Carpenter comes the towering adventure that thunders across Los Angeles and explodes 30 stories above it!

Plot: A professional thief is hired by the FBI to steal a data tape from a company under investigation. As this thief is discovered in his attempt, he hides the tape inside a prototype car, but unfortunately there is someone else interested in this vehicle.

My Rating: 6/10

Would I watch it again? Once was fine

I probably got a little TOO excited to see this considering the cast and it's written by John Carpenter. The sci-fi tag on imdb is bullshit. I guess if you consider a state-of-the-art secret car to be sci-fi then OK but this picture's got nothing else to qualify calling this a sci-fi film. That said, it's an action-thriller with a fun performance from the always likable Tommy Lee Jones. He's a gas. The pre-credit sequence where he gets the best of a robber at a convenience store is a hoot.

Robber: Alright, freeze! One move and you're both dead men. (To Jones) You hear me, asshole?
Jones: This somethin' new for you, son?
Robber: Shuddup. Shut your goddamned mouth.
Jones: Hey, fine. No problem. There's the cash register and right up there's the television camera and there's a nice full face shot. How about a profile?

As you can see there are a ton of names in this picture. Hell, its even got Bubba Smith. William Sanderson has a VERY effective and well-crafted death scene that's probably the highlight of the film in terms of quality. Another very good scene is just after Jones steals the "super car" and is involved in a full-on chase. The editing in the tunnel sequence in this scene is great. It's an impressive sequence (like Sanderson's death). The editor, btw, is Todd C. Ramsay. His first picture was, if you can believe this, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979). That's a dreadfully dull film but I can't blame Ramsay for that. The story is motionless. He also did ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) and THE THING (1982). After that it's all downhill.

Sadly, Linda Hamilton's hair doesn't get a special mention in the credits. To quote the immortal words of Luke Skywalker, "Look at the size of that thing!" That guy next to her must have follicle envy. As if you're interested, here's a movie that lets you see her nude...again.

BMR is only better than average. Without Jones, Hamilton and the rest of the big names this is just another 80s thief-using-his-powers-for-good-and-not-evil picture.

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